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How Little Improvements Can Help Squeeze All the Equity Out of Your Home

In a recent post, I shared some reviews from sellers I worked with in the past year, all of whom were very pleased with the sale price they got on their home. As I mentioned, getting top dollar for a home often requires an upfront investment on the part of the seller. Meaning, you may need to spend some money to shine up a house you’re about to leave. Believe me, this is not something anyone is eager to do.

When I meet with you about marketing your house, I’ll explain all your options. I will tell you what could be done to your house before listing it, and what type of return you are likely to see from doing those things. Similarly, I will lay out what it will cost to not do certain things. For example, that $1,000 paint job the seller opts not to do often turns into a $2,000 deduction they need to give the buyer to seal the deal. It’s almost always better for you if you get the work done yourself!

Even if you bought your home five years ago and you moved into a house that was perfect and newly done, that pristine space is now “lived in.”  Before going to market, it is worth it to take care of the fingerprints on the walls and the dings on the cabinets —things you might not bother doing if you were going to stay in the house.

Together, my clients and I strategize how to best use their resources. It’s not unusual for a family to take out a short-term loan for $10,000 of improvements and have that yield an extra $50,000 in the sale. In fact, I just read a statistic about one of the big real-estate portal companies that has gotten into the home-buying business. This company will buy a home for, say, $310,000 and spend $10K doing painting and minor repairs. They then turn around and immediately sell for $350K.

This practice is not considered “flipping.” They’re just jumping on an opportunity to buy houses in which the sellers failed to do some very basic maintenance before going to market; they make a nice, quick profit on easy fixes. 

Most everyone has the same initial reaction: I want to save my money and spend it on fixing my new house. As far as I’m concerned, you should not feel pressured to do anything you don’t want to. But as your marketing partner, it is my job to present you options and educate you on how you can benefit from this tried-and-true equation. This gives you the information to make the best choice for you.

And it is a choice. Once upon a time, making small improvements may have made a difference between a house selling and not selling. Not these days. In this market, Your house will sell whether you fix it up or not. Instead, it has become a matter of how much more you can get for it.

If you'd like to talk about how to squeeze out all the equity your home has to offer, call or text! 


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